Mexico and Mars… Is there a connection?

By: Lisa Coleman
Who would have thought? Is there a connection between Mars and Mexico? Hummmmm. Okay, I’ve seen a few guys late night at some local Zihuatanejo bars that could have easily hailed from Mars, but… on a more serious note, there is an interesting connection.  Most people don’t know that Mexico has three rather daunting volcanic glacier peaks,  including the snow-capped (and 3rd highest mountain in North America) Pico de Orizaba.  Standing prominently at 18,490 feet and located between the states of Veracruz and Puebla, Pico is becoming known for an “alien” experiment.

According to Reuters in Mexico City, scientists are using the pine-forest slopes of this landmark peak to test for tree growth…on Mars. Apparently NASA believes that if they can warm Mars by using heat-trapping gases it will lead to photosynthesis, create an atmosphere and support oxygen-breathing life forms. Sounds like something right out of Star Trek, eh?

And the connection you ask…. Well, interesting enough… trees on Orizaba grow at a higher altitude than on any other mountain on Earth (13,780 ft.). It may sound like science fiction, but they might be on to something. Check out the entire article at http://www.topix.net/content/reuters/2007/07/mexican-volcano-is-test-bed-for-trees-on-mars. Hey, it works for me!

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